US firm to help improve Ctg port rly connectivity

It seeks to set up overhead rail system

Syful Islam | Published: April 09, 2019 09:20:38 | Updated: April 10, 2019 10:44:54

EagleRail, a US-based container logistics service provider, has sought to invest in rail connectivity at the Chattogram port, officials said.

It is interested to carry containers from the port yard to the nearest inland container depots (ICDs) by setting up an overhead rail system.

The officials said EagleRail also wants to carry containers to the under-construction overflow yard near the labour colony and the proposed container yards near the Bay terminal from the port yard.

To make its foray into the work, the company's officials recently submitted a proposal to the shipping ministry, expressing its investment interest.

According to sources, EagleRail has asked for official permission to make a feasibility study on the project.

Officials concerned said all less-than-container-load (LCL) containers and the bulk of full-container-load (FCL) containers are currently being delivered to importers from the port yard.

Presently, the port yard has the capacity to store some 49,000 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) of containers.

For the past several weeks, around 40,000 TEUs of containers, on average, remained stuck at the port yard daily, causing congestion and disrupting activities.

The officials said the Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) is building a container overflow yard near the labour colony on 24 acres of land.

Besides, steps are afoot to build two container delivery yards on 67 acres near the Bay terminal.

CPA Chairman Zulfiqur Aziz has told the FE that 5,000 trucks enter the port area every day to take delivery of containers.

Trucks enter the port area in the morning to get delivery of containers by evening, disrupting operational activities a lot.

Mr Aziz said the authorities have plans to do all the container delivery work outside the port area to make its operations hassle-free.

On completion of work on the overflow yard and two delivery yards near the Bay terminal, containers would be set there from a vessel's hook point directly, he said.

Trucks would collect containers from delivery yards instead of entering the port yard, Mr Aziz noted.

Shipping secretary Abdus Samad said the government is examining EagleRail's proposal, taking into account large trucks' entrance to the port area daily and subsequent congestion they create.

When large numbers of trucks move in the port city to collect containers, he said, the roads remain chock-a-block with vehicles.

"We'll make a decision on EagleRail's proposal after thorough scrutiny," he told the FE.


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